History of the AHS

We’ve Come A long Way Baby!!!

From a small band of enthusiasts who gathered on July 7th, 1968 at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania for the first national convention, the American Hosta Society has blossomed to over 4000 members.

The first official annual publication was the ‘Bulletin Of The American Hosta Society’, published in March of 1969.

It was comprised of 30 pages of text printed in black and white, bound together by a front and back cover made of vanilla colored card stock, and then stapled along the left side. A limited number of photos were printed in black and white.

There were about 147 members paying an annual fee of $3.00.
Plans were being made to publish an illustrated Hosta booklet but funds were not available. The Treasurers Report for March 1, 1969 indicated total income and assets at $643.03. A quote from the publication read as follows….”As you read this page (Treasurers Report, p.5)…you must remember that we are not all rich. The prosperity of the Society depends on your support through dues, plant sales, and seed exchange.

As a side note the auction of plants at the first annual meeting grossed $14.78 as compared to the profit on seed sales which generated $77.25.

There were nine officers with Alex J. Summers serving as the first president of the American Hosta Society. He also served as Seed Exchange Director and Editor. Talk about dedication!

May we continue their legacy with the same dedication and passion.

Chuck O Education Chair

PS…Where were you back in 1968? I hadn’t discovered hostas yet.

Editors Note… I was part of a landscaping family. Perennials, including Hostas, were considered grandmother plants that were to be dug out and discarded so we could plant ‘real’ shrubs like junipers and yews.
Bob Danik

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